The Other Side of the Other Side
Guest Post by Starr Gardinier Reina
Green grass as far as the eye can see to the left of me, bright skies all around, calm blue waters such as one would see in Hawaii to the right of me. It all sounds so glorious. A place worthy of a long, relaxing vacation. It is, it’s beautiful here. It was the sight I was faced with five years ago when I arrived. I couldn’t have been happier.
That is, until I found out that it’s not all sunshine and smiles. The Other Side is not always what people may think. There is another side to the Other Side. It can be formidable and dark, filling a soul full of anguish and anxiety. After the first month, I learned that the Other Side is what you make of it, what you perceive. And how you lived your life on Earth. That latter being the more decisive of what your after world is going to be like.
Integrating back into the perfect, happy place is possible, but one must work hard to rid themselves of the evil they breathed on Earth. Doing penance does not consist of just promising to be good. To appease the ‘higher ups’ you must collect souls—hungry, rampant souls smacking of pure immorality—from Earth as they are about to die. Without going into detail, I will say collection is not the end of it. No, you must also stop the last act that mortals are trying to play out on Earth, safely without harm coming to the humans. You may think that’s easy, but remember, we’re talking about the most malevolent entities that exist within human forms.
I’m still trying to get myself back to the good side, to be worthy again of the thriving brightness I remember. I haven’t seen it in almost five years. I’ve only one soul to go.
I’m looking over to Earth now. I see one! That one will work just fine. And before you get upset, remember: I didn’t pick your soul. You showed the blackness the first time you acted out without even trying to force the evil side away. You are the one who allowed temptation to drive you over the edge to the other side.
The Other Side: Melinda’s Story
by Starr Gardinier Reina
Publisher: Suspense Publishing, an ITW approved publishing company
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
212 pages ebook/paperback
Released April 9, 2013.
Melinda James has a problem. She’s in Skyview Haven because her entire family and best friend are dead. Did she kill them? Does she belong in the asylum keeping her from harming herself and others?
Her father Paul James is killed in a car accident. She attends his funeral and she does see him lying in the casket. Or does she? It turns out her best friend Beth is the one who is dead and her father is there to console her. What is going on?
She thinks she’s going crazy, especially when she discovers both are actually gone from this earth and they talk to her from…‘the other side.’ Are her father and Beth actually speaking to her from beyond? Why? What do they want?
Soon, Melinda finds the answers and they aren’t what she wants to hear. Paul insists he was killed and his whole family is in danger.
This is part of Melinda’s story that she shares with Dr. Alex Leever, the psychiatrist who is assigned her case. All she wants is someone to hear her story—and believe. Melinda slowly begins to trust Dr. Leever and steadily reveals her long, complicated, intricate tale.
While at Skyview, Melinda meets Trent and they become friends, until she learns something about him that rocks her world. Is he there to hurt her? Does he want what her father was killed over?
Problems mount quickly and she discovers that there are people who want something only she can give them. Is Trent one of those people?
Her family tries to help from beyond, but Melinda is running out of time. She needs to give them what they want or die. Can the dead protect the living? Will they be enough to protect her?
I tried to tell them it was going to happen, but nobody would listen. They all said I was just having bad dreams, or that I was crazy.
It started at my father’s funeral. It’s been so long since it first began, about eight years ago. Sometimes though, it seems like yesterday. My father was there. No, I don’t mean just in the casket. He was there. He talked to me, begged me to tell Mom that we all needed to run and hide. He said we were all in danger.
I asked him why he didn’t tell Mom himself. He said he tried, but she wasn’t listening. I heard him fine. But I didn’t believe him. Why would we be in danger? We can’t just up and leave. My friends are all here in Beaumont. When I told him this, he said it was important, that it was a matter of life and death. He seemed so worried, but I was so confused, I blew him off.
I guess when it first happened I didn’t pay any heed to his warning. We went on with our lives. Mom was grief stricken, my brother Kyle was in his own world playing videos and I was trying to shut my father out of my mind. Was I going crazy? What was wrong with me? Dad was dead, but I could still see and hear him.
If I tell you the story, will you believe me?
A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story “Cut”, Reina has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich Series. The first is “In the Name of Revenge”, the second, “Deadly Decisions” and the third, “One Major Mistake” was released July 10, 2012. Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found her unique style and is known for her works’ distinctive voice, making every character stand out.
Reina is the artistic creator of the Ivanovich series featuring Pavel Ivanovich. Flanking Ivanovich’s side in “Deadly Decisions” is Teresa Mancini, who vies with Ivanovich for readers’ attention. According to J.M. LeDuc, who was “raised in an Italian family”, Teresa “is perfect…like all your characters”. Reina is also the author of young adult novella “Cruel Whispers” and its sequel novel “Cruel Past”.
Reina is an executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work. She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.
Reina is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged the weekend-long event to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. Reina has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.
Today we have a brief guest post by author Bisi Leyton, as well as a sweet excerpt from Wisteria. You can check out the full tour schedule (hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer) HERE.
Research involved to write Wisteria
I did not do that much research from Wisteria. I did checkout ta few zombie movies, but I tried to draw as much from my imagination as I didn’t want to simply copy was done or written before. I conducted some research about fairs and fair folk when trying to put together the Family, because I had considered making them fairies, but as the story progressed that became less and less central to the plot.
Have you ever had an personal encounter with the supernatural?
I believe the fact our planet exists in this universe is supernatural.
What is your all-time favorite monster?
Zombies! This was the reason I wrote about them. On variation of them is the space zombie or the Borg from Star Trek.
Inspiration behind the Red Phoenix group
Red Phoenix just came into the story when I needed an explosion. I don’t know why put them in, but they’ve since become key to the Wisteria mystery. Initially, I wanted them to be humans who hunted The Family, but they have become so much more than that.
Wisteria by Bisi Leyton
Publisher: Self published
Released August 15th, 2013
Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two options—track the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.
Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a man—as a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows.
Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies.
As she walked back to the ridge of the roof, Bach’s heart went with her. Someone had tried to hurt her. Tried to damage what belonged to him, and who he belonged to.He started to feel dizzy from the volumes of strangle weed planted in the front of her house.
“Thank you so much for coming and for the guitar. It’s perfect.” She gave it back to him.
“No, it is yours, Wisteria.” He refused to take it. “Do you not like it?”
“No, I love it. It’s so beautiful.”
“Then keep it.” He kissed her neck. Knowing—hoping—his touch would soothe her pain, but he hadn’t come here to comfort her.
“Bach.” She used her instrument as a shield as she moved away from him. “It’s a bad idea. You won’t understand.”
“You are right. I do not get why you would refuse something you apparently love,” he whispered while rubbing her forearms and taking in her scent.
“If I accept your kindness, then I’ll have to face the consequences. I don’t know if I can face those.”
“You cannot face accepting my kindness, or is it accepting me that you cannot face?”
“Tell me that you do not feel the same,” he whispered. “That the moment you first saw me that I did not get inside your head. Tell me that you do not think about me all of the time when we are not together?”
The dark-eyed girl did not answer.
Wishing he could will her to speak, he pressed her against his chest. Briefly, he noticed a black spot at the base of her neck, where he had kissed her, and then it was gone. “Okay, Wisteria. Then tell me that you want me to leave, and that you do not care if you never ever see me again.” He felt like someone else was speaking for him, once again. The questions became pointless as he found himself still planting kisses along her neck and the sides of her face.
“I can’t tell you that, Bach,” she replied softly, her voice breaking. “Because it’s not true.” She wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly.
Desperately wanting to kiss her luscious-looking lips, he leaned into her.
Wisteria reached up to him, tugging his head down as she stood on the very tips of her toes, seemingly just as eager to taste his lips.
“Wisteria, I cannot.” He broke away before it happened. “I do not want this.”
* * * * *
Wrapping her arms around herself, she moved away from him. Once again, humiliated and feeling foolish. “Goodnight, Bach!” She strode angrily to the side of the roof in order to climb down.
He grabbed her and held her back
The guy came here just to tease her, yet again! Didn’t he know he was hurting her? Didn’t he care? “I’m tired of all this nonsense. I’m actually tired and need some sleep. I’m done with this. All of this!” She should’ve left the roof when she saw him appear. “Let go, so I can go.”
“Wisteria, it is not that.” Exhaling heavily, he released her. “My people could kill you if they knew I wanted you.”
This wasn’t at all what she’d expected him to say. “What?”
“I am in love with you. I do not know why, but I am. And it is selfish, because I just want you for myself.” Sadness filled his eyes as he spoke.
“Why would they do that to me?”
“Because you are human and because we see humans as Terran, or dirt people.”
“And you believe that too? So why are you here, living among us, if we’re so disgusting?”
“You are not disgusting. You are beautiful.” Rubbing his temples, he seemed troubled and bewildered. “I came to Terra as a rite of passage. To be considered a man, to take a journey and experience the wild.”
“I chose Terra, or Earth, because I came here as a child. Your people treated me so badly in the past. When I learned about the Nero disease, I wanted to see your world.” He paused. “You were right when you said there was something wrong with me.”
“Bach, it cannot be that bad.” Stepping up to him, she stroked her fingers along his biceps.
The sweet motion made him smile at her, but he still looked distressed.
“Like about Garfield, you let him live with you. And now you’re here with me.”
“You are not like the rest.”
“Neither are you. You’re not so cold and cruel like Enric or patronizing like Felip. They think they’re better than us. You just hate people because you’re a jerk, Bach.”
“Ha.” Bach laughed. “A jerk?”
“You’re a big jerk.” As the final word rolled from her lips, he kissed her.
She was stunned for a second. His lips tasted like a strange, tantalizing spice.
He squeezed her against his larger frame and rested his right hand on the small of her back.
She fidgeted, unsure about what to do with her hands. She tried to kiss him back, but she struggled because she was so short.
Praise for Wisteria:
“I love the buildup of this story, getting to know the characters and watching their connection grow. I had no idea which way the story was headed and I was kept in suspense right up to the very end! It has plenty of action and a fascinating plot and I can’t wait to see what Bisi Leyton has for us next!!”
“There are a lot of great things in this book, so much more than zombies and a struggle for survival. At it’s base core it is about star-crossed lovers, literally and the supporting characters roles… Ms. Leyton brings to Wisteria a mixture of science fiction, fantasy, dystopic world with a twist to the paranormal romance angle!”
“The book was full of nonstop action from the beginning until the end, and I did not put it down until I had finished it. I loved the book.”
Bisi Leyton was born in East London in 1978. She grew up in London, Nigeria and the States, listening to the stories life and love from aunts, cousins and big sisters.
She lives in London, but has worked around Europe including France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. She has a fondness for reading graphic novels.
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
A few weeks ago we revealed this gem of a cover and today I’m letting you know not only is it available for a mere 99 cents, you could win a Kindle fire to read it on. I’m very tempted to buy it on paperback, which is unfortunately slightly more than 99 cents. But I’ve peeked at my review copy for the tour (Feb 13th) and I like it so far. Definitely worth the price of a Value Fry or a greasy mini cheeseburger from McDonalds. I would say that it is almost worth the price of a Starbucks coffee, but I value my life too much to deal with a coffee drinker without their morning latte. ;)
Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four by Nya Jade
Published: October 30th 2012
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.
As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.
Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.
Phoebe was too far away to sense whether the boy had one heart or two. Through the maze of trees with clattering leaves, she could see him moving with purposeful speed. He was headed toward her destination—a brownstone chapel perched at the top of a small hill. Not knowing the boy’s nature made Phoebe hesitate. Then came the sound of tower bells. Eight o’clock. There was no time to think of an alternate route. She was officially late for the Conversion.
A loud, echoing crack quickened Phoebe’s pace as lightning slashed the indigo sky above her. She had barely reached the base of the hill when rain began pounding down. Clutching the camera that hung from the strap around her neck, she sprinted the final stretch, arriving breathless.
Phoebe wiped the rain from her face, and then entered the chapel. Inside, light from moon-facing windows cast a misty glow across the sanctuary, the air redolent with the smoke of a blazing fireplace. She glanced around the heart of the nondenominational Green Lane Academy. It seemed so ordinary, so quiet, even peaceful. Rows of pews with velvet cushions ran the width of the room. She moved between them, taking care to remain in the shadows. An irregular shape in a dark corner caught her eye and Phoebe could just barely make out the outline of the boy. He knelt with his head between his hands, his body huddled against a pew. Praying.
Phoebe paused several feet away and waited. After a moment she felt energy seeping from the boy’s skin, raising the hairs on hers. Cold and electric, it meant one thing: the boy had only one heart. She couldn’t risk him seeing what she had come there to do. That meant waiting. Just then, something stirred behind her.
Between writing and performing new music, Nya took a musical sabbatical to focus on writing a novel—an endeavor she found quite daunting, until she began looking at each chapter as a verse in a very long song. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is her first novel.
In her free time, Nya enjoys hanging out with family and friends, searching for amazing gluten-free desserts, and bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes.
Nya holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Sociology, both from Stanford University.
I’d like to start out with a public apology to the author, Danica Winters, and FMB Blog Tours for misplacing (die gmail die) the lovely guest post Danica wrote for me. And because I’ve been swamped from the holidays and the upcoming move, I didn’t realize that I *lost* the guest post until a few hours ago. So, instead of a guest post and giveaway…you have me. Only me. *stare*
No, wait. I didn’t lose the giveaway! Still have that. Check out the excerpt and then enter the giveaway to win!
The Vampire’s Hope (#1) by Danica Winters
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense,
Ellie Smith, an emotionally stunted dancer, finds more than she bargains for after her human life is taken by the vampire, Master Liam. Once inside the Vampire’s underground lair, the Keres Den, she meets Ian, an immortal Viking warrior, who is infiltrating the soulless prison. (New Paragraph) As Ellie begins her training, she learns that the dark tunnels around her are filled with even darker secrets. As the truth of her existence come to light, she is faced with a choice—does she let her past dictate her future, or can she begin to feel again?
The couple in front of her stood under the bar’s lopsided mistletoe, their lips pressed against each other in a gesture of Christmas spirit. On the man’s lapel was a white rose, smashed against the woman’s full breast.
The sight made Ellie Smith laugh. Ellie was the same age as the two lip-locked party goers, yet they were so much younger. They wore the white rose of hope—probably hope for love that would undoubtedly turn bad, or hope that the holidays would bring them the gifts of eternal bliss… those naïve fools.
The couple parted and their cheeks glowed with the pink twinges of arousal. The sight was more than she could handle and she looked away. They were luckier than they knew. They probably did not have any idea what it was like to be without a bed for the night, without a home, without purpose, and without hope.
To her left a thick-set, redheaded man approached. His shoulders were erect and he walked with a stride that conveyed power. Catching Ellie’s eye, he smiled the grim smile of subtle manipulation.
Whatever he wanted, he wouldn’t get it from her.
A blonde man with an arched smile stepped out from behind the threatening redhead and sat down at the table. “Hello, Elpis. Welcome to The Ravena.”
The way he said her name made her skin crawl.
The blonde waved his hand at the rows of booze and the surly bartender. “I hope you like the bar.”
The bar was like any number of others, just another stop in her constant travel through the dark world of the forgotten.
“Thanks. I have no idea how you know my given name, but I’d rather you called me Ellie.”
“Are you the owner of this place?”
The blonde motioned to the dangerous-looking redhead behind him.
She knew she should fear them, but there was nothing inside of her heart. “I need a job. Are you hiring? I can dance.”
The blonde laughed. He looked over his shoulder at the red-headed man. “She doesn’t have a clue.”
He turned back to her as if he had said nothing to the man who was clearly his boss. “My name is Ian. And this is Master Liam…” He pointed at the rigid redheaded man.
“What are you after?”
The club’s music filled the silence between them.
Ian smirked. “Master Liam would like a dance.”
Ellie gazed over Ian’s blonde hair and his features—his eyes were the same blue as the sea, and his face was wide and rugged. He looked like a portrait of a Viking.
Master Liam extended his hand in a silent command to dance. She looked back at the handsome Viking. Liam was a threat, but so was Ian. Was it better to go after a powerful man who she wasn’t attracted to in hopes of getting a job, or was it better to forget her chance of getting hired and stay with the handsome Viking?
For once Ellie wondered what it was like to feel something—anything. If she was normal, would she blush? Would her lust move her nearer to him? Instead, she only felt the dull emptiness inside of her breast. Was there truly life without emotion?
Ellie slipped her hand into Master Liam’s. He led her to the dance floor, but she could sense Ian’s eyes upon her.
Master Liam moved in a stiff, archaic way and his hands never strayed from her waist. Not that she minded. It was nice not to be groped. What kind of dancer would Ian be?
She looked back at her table. Ian stared at her with a hunger in his eyes. She dropped her gaze. If he wanted her, he didn’t act the part.
Master Liam said nothing to her as she looked up into his face. His eyes were filled with lust and they slowly danced their way to the farthest recess of the dance floor. His cold hands forced her head back and she stared up at the ceiling.
He pushed her against the wall.
He slowly bent down, taking each movement in his own unhurried time. He inhaled and blew his chilled breath against the skin of her neck.
He wasn’t the man she wanted, but a job was a job—however she had to get it.
Liam leaned in, and instead of kissing her lips, he pressed his face into her neck and caressed her skin with his icy lips.
She drew in a breath and her pulse quickened.
His teeth pierced her skin, and she started to shriek, but his hand clamped down over her opening lips. She struggled but as he drained her, weakness won. A fire burned where his teeth dug into her flesh. Acid filled her veins.
With her last thought, she envisioned the white rose on the stranger’s lapel. No emotion, no hope…
Danica Winters is an Amazon best-selling romance author based inMontana. She is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Montana Romance Writers, and Greater Seattle Romance Writers. She is a contributor to magazines, websites, and news organizations. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, the outdoors, and the bliss brought by the printed word.
- Nov. 4th- Kharisma Rhayne (Interview/Giveaway)
- Nov. 5th- Arianne Cruz (Review)
- Nov. 10th- Book Review Club (Review/Giveaway)
- Nov. 14th- My Escape (Review/Giveaway)
- Nov. 17th- Blood, Lust and Erotica (Guest Post/Giveaway)
- Nov. 20th- I am, Indeed (Interview)
- Nov. 23rd- Bookluvrs Haven (Review/Giveaway)
- Nov. 27th- Full Moon Bites (Interview/Giveaway)
- Nov. 30th- The Avid Reader (Review/Giveaway)
- Dec. 1st- A Bit of Dash (Review/Giveaway)
- Dec. 4th- Kristy Centeno (Spotlight)
- Dec. 5th- Lizzy’s Dark Fiction (Guest Post/Giveaway)
- Dec. 6th- Musings of a Writing Reader (Review/Giveaway)
- Dec. 10th- Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict (Interview)
- Dec. 11th- Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict (Review)
- Dec. 12th- Books Amour (Spotlight/Giveaway)
- Dec. 18th- Harlie’s Books (Review/Giveaway)
- Dec. 24th- Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews (Interview/Giveaway)
- Dec. 25th- Fighting Monkey Press (Review)
- Dec. 28th- My Seryniti (Interview/Giveaway)
- Dec. 31st- Identity Discovery (Review/Giveaway)
- Jan. 3rd- Cherie Reads (Review/Giveaway)
- Jan. 4th- A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books (Review/Giveaway)
- Jan. 6th- Simply Infatuated (Guest Post/Giveaway)
- Jan. 10th- My Cozie Corner (Review/Giveaway)
- Jan. 11th- My Seryniti (Review)
- Jan. 15th- 1889 Labs (Guest Post)
- Jan. 16th- A Book Lover’s Library (Review/Guest Post)
- Jan. 17th- Reader Girls (Review)
- Jan. 20th- Book Lovin Mamas (Review/Giveaway)
- Jan 22nd- I am, Indeed (Review/Giveaway)
- Jan 30th- Reading with Holly (Spotlight/Giveaway)
I really liked this guest post, because sometimes aspiring authors get too caught up into the “formula” behind successful stories that they forget writing is ART. It is not how you write the story, but that you write the story. Besides the guest post, we have a little teaser excerpt, my review of Volcanoes, and a giveaway! Thanks to Reading Addiction Blog Tours for hosting this tour. You can check out the full list of participating blogs at the bottom of this post.
Writing by the Seat of My Pants – Don’t try this at home!
Guest Post by Nichole Hamlett
I read blogs and articles from other authors that tell you exactly how to write your book. They have processes and outlines and structured schedules. They create character profiles and story arcs. Those are authors that I both envy, worship and when I’m huddled under my covers because I’m not sure how I could possibly be any worse at this, I curse.
I wrote an outline for Rifts, my second book, and then promptly obliterated it. I didn’t write one single thing from that outline. I also tried my hand at character building. My characters laughed at me. I’m pretty sure that Grace hijacked my dream one night and told me in no uncertain terms that I would not get another word from her if I didn’t stop crapping all over her personality.
My idea of a plotline looked a lot like this –
I think that I can safely say that a good deal of that happened. But not in the way I had planned it.
This also happened -
That still happens. I find scraps of paper wedged under my keyboard, on my nightstand and a few times in my underwear drawer. (Don’t ask, I don’t know.)
My characters and words flow out of my like water. Grace talks to me and I write what she has to say. I’m embarrassed to say that when asked where I come up with my ideas or what my inspiration for these books is, I can’t come up with a good enough lie.
I have no idea. And you know – that’s okay. I’m okay with not following rules when I write. I watched a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert last year that helped me come to terms with my inability to eloquently explain my rationale.
My muse happens to be a demi-goddess who writes through me to tell her story. I often feel like a conduit and I grasp at those bits of inspiration, sit down and go into a trance that lasts anywhere from minutes to hours.
I am by no means cheerleading this way of writing. I still sigh and read those articles longingly – sometimes wishing that I could be a better organized writer. It would certainly make me a better writer. But at the end of the day I am writing something that both surprises and delights me. I think that is what really counts.
I joke that I’m going to have, “I’m working on it!” tattooed to my forehead. Writing like anything is a painful process and until you find a comfortable way to make it your own, you’re going to continue flying by the seat of your pants and hope for the best!
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“I needed something big. I’d found a dormant volcano in my earlier exploration. Yeah – that would be big and in typical Grace Murphy fashion, I didn’t think this one through, I just blew it.”
Be careful what you ask of Fate – sometimes she gives it to you. When we last saw our heroine, she’d watched her faithful pet rip off her new best friend’s head to save her on’s life and Atlantis was rising from the depths. Now, Grace Murphy is back in the third installment of the Huntress series, but this time she’s facing an all-out war. It’s critical that Nyx (and Atlantis) stay buried, but her psychotic brats will do most anything to get her back.
You didn’t think that was all, did you? Of course there’s more!
With Hypnos invading her dreams, Dylan caught up in the throes of his “change” and juggling her relationships with two hunky Gods, Drew and Heph, to say Grace’s hands
are full would be an understatement.
Grace wished her life would just go back to the way it was before, and that she wouldn’t
have her powers or responsibilities anymore. Unfortunately, it looks like Fate answered this time. The results aren’t pretty.
The smell of an abandoned house hits you in phases. First, you get the dried musty smell of dust and mildew spores. Then any lingering scents from left-over dinner or the last occupants hits the senses. I scrunched up my face, trying not to exclaim that Dylan and Drew hadn’t lived up to their promise of cleaning up after themselves on their last Xbox foray. This wasn’t the time.
The last scent hit me by surprise as I traveled to the kitchen to see what they’d left out. It had a metallic tang with undertones of rotting meat. I was transported immediately to the night I’d walked into my house to find my carpet had been soaked through with the blood of Geb’s monsters.
It occurred to me with sudden panic that we didn’t have Scooter with us. I would feel much safer with him here to guard my son. I’d ask Heph to make that happen as soon as I figured out what the smell was.
My feet slowed of their own volition. They knew that even though I was stubbornly still moving forward, my mind wouldn’t want to know what the smell was. My subconscious was terrified of what I would see and it was trying to protect what had become my very fragile mind.
Really, what else was I expected to take? What else did I have to go through before I broke? Hadn’t the last nine months of my life been enough? It was like I’d been pregnant and the baby I’d carried was an intact sense of sanity.
Congratulations, Ms. Murphy, it’s a bouncing baby –
The words cut off in my head as I spied what was causing the smell.
(Spoilers from book 1 & 2. Because of the unorthodox nature of this book, I’ve decided to forgo my typical review breakdown. Review of the other books to come eventually. I received a copy of this book as part of the blog tour in exchange for my honest review.)
Have you ever read the first page of a story and you know by the end of the page that the narrating character is beyond awesome and no matter what you will read every single book narrated by this character because you cannot get enough? There has only been a handful of books that grab me like that and the first book in the series, Huntress did just that. So when I began reading the third installment of the Grace Murphy series I was expecting another amazingly sarcastic and smart-aleck novel. That’s exactly what I got.
The book began with Grace belittling her lover/husband/whatever and making him feel 2 inches tall. If you’ve ever been in a serious relationship and wanted to embarrass your significant other in front of all his friends, well that’s what Grace did. Only her significant other is a “Greek god” and all his friends are too. There’s no filter on Grace and I love her for it. She’s a superwoman (divorced mom, writer, and superhero) and she’s got sass. I’m super jealous of her relationship with her son – it’s just like the one I want to have with my kid when he’s older – and it feels so very real.
This novel is very dialogue heavy and since Grace rarely takes situations as seriously as they need to be taken, the pacing feels lagged at times. I wanted to just shake Grace sometimes and tell her that enough is enough and she should go DO whatever. But, Grace remains in character no matter what. If you don’t like Grace, this will be a hard novel to finish. If you like Grace and don’t mind the constant reminders from the other characters to get back on track, then you’ll love it.
The other characters don’t have as distinct personalities as I wished (minus Drew but he’s vacant for much of the novel) and they universally like to remind Grace of her faults. It’s like a 169 page roast of a superhero and pretty damn funny at times. Because Grace has lost her powers and must learn to rely on other people to help her save the world, and this gal is in desperate need of learning some humility.
Grace narrates like she has OCD, so her mind jumps from this to that at the littlest of distractions. If your focus is the story and the plot, then Grace is frustrating. If you’d like a cynical view from a super-human gal with a highly addictive personality, then you love hanging out with Grace during the novel. The story happens, but it definitely isn’t the star of this novel. Grace Murphy is.
I prefer typically prefer books that are fast pace and more plot driven than character driven, but this is a series that I will follow despite everything. I didn’t like it quite as much as the first two, but it is still a solid B (4 star).
Nicole Hamlett is a single mother from Colorado Springs, living in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not writing books she enjoys reading, cooking and video games and can often be caught enjoying indie alternative music.”
Check out the rest of the tour sites!
- November 19 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
- November 20 - Sonny The Booklover - Review/Interview
- November 21 - LovLivLife Reviews - Guest Post/PROMO
- November 22-Lovely Reads – Guest Post/PROMO
- November 23 - Kimmie’s Bookshelf - Guest Post/PROMO
- November 23 - Pink Fluffy Hearts - Guest Post/PROMO
- November 26 - Books For Me - Review
- November 28 - Brooke Blogs - PROMO
- November 29 - Up All Night Reviews - PROMO
- November 30 - Novel Nexus - Guest Post/PROMO
- December 2 - The Adventures Within - Review/Guest Post
- December 3 - Lizzy’s dark Fiction - Review/Guest Post
- December 4 - Pure Textuality - Review
- December 5 - The Solitary Bookworm - Review/Interview
- December 6 - Lovely Reads - Guest Post/PROMO
- December 7 - Black Lillies Are Dead - Review/Guest Post
- December 10 - My Cozie Corner - Review
- December 11 - Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books - Review/Guest Post
- December 12 - The Book Faery Reviews - Review/Guest Post
- December 13 - Cabin Goddess - Review
- December 14 - My Reading Addiction -PROMO